The Terps played just well enough to win their football game in the rain this Saturday against NC State. Obi Egekeze has not been nearly as automatic as he was in 2007, but this weekend he made one when it counted most. After missing a 39-yard FG that would have broken a 24-24 tie in the 4th quarter, Egekeze hit the game winner from extra point distance to give the Terps a win. That win brought Maryland into a tie with Florida State for first in the Atlantic with a 3-1 conference record and boosted the team into the Top 25 for the first time this year.
Despite the win, Maryland once again played down to the level of a clearly inferior opponent. NC State came into the game winless in the ACC and losers of three straight. The Terps went back and forth with the Wolf Pack for much of the first half, never put them away when they took the lead, and let them tie the game at 24 midway through the 3rd quarter. NC State’s offense came into the game averaging 18 pts/gm, and Maryland’s defense once again let a struggling offense play above its potential to stay in it.
Da’Rel Scott was Mr. Consistency, running 23 times for 163 yards and a TD. Davin Meggett also came up clutch with a 39-yard reception on a lob pass from Turner to setup the game-winning FG. Despite their efforts, the Terps still needed a FG from Egekeze on a wet field to ice the game.
The Terps have the weekend off, then travel to Blacksburg next Thursday to face a Virginia Tech team that has had trouble scoring and is having QB injury issues. That game will be on national television and is a definite statement game. The Terps will need a convincing win to move up in the polls before the home stretch against UNC, Florida State, and BC.
I can’t imagine Maryland will win out, but if they do they’ll be guaranteed a spot in the ACC Championship Game. If you detect a negative tone to this post it’s because I feel like I’m watching a team that is once again close to getting over the hump, but demonstrated that it is incapable of consistently performing at a high level. Tech has a good overall program but is having a down year. I think we need to go into Blacksburg and win big for people to start taking this program seriously.
The schedule only gets tougher after that. We’re going to need all the confidence we can get in order to win the Atlantic. Here’s to hoping we get over the hump.